Khragkh – Ersatz (Black Metal)

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Well this has come to be an interesting find. Khragkh, a black metal horde from Belarus who formed in 2013 contacted me a few weeks ago and being the lover of kvlt stuff I obviously had to check it out. What I found was a very atmospheric and spiritual wicked type of black metal. The vocals really caught my interest, the tormented growls is great for the music Khragkh plays and it brings out the truly haunting and suffering personal struggles they sing about. In many ways this music reminds me of the works from Shining and Funeral Mist (I know those two bands are quite different), which isn’t something many bands out there manage to do. It’s raw and primitive style adding horrifying samples (the cat sounds at the start of Jadłovy bukiet for example) made by great musicians makes this a debut album you do not want to miss.

The two closing songs of the album are to me the two best ones, Ersatz and Crom. Lech. Mań. – Kruh. Kamień. Čalaviek. I do recommend listening to the whole album though in order to get the full experience from their seven stories on human aspects like spiritual weakness and religion. Khragkh’s debut album Ersatz is out now as a digital release and coming later this Summer as a physical release from Der Schwarze Tod.

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/khragkh
Label: Der Schwarze Tod
For fans of: Shining and Funeral Mist
Favorite song: Ersatz

King of Asgard – :taudr: (Viking/Death Metal)

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This is one of those albums I’ve had to wait with before reviewing. Why you ask? Because I had to cool down before giving :taudr: my first listen. King of Asgard is a band I really like and hold in a high regard when it comes to viking metal (together with Thyrfing, Månegarm and Amon Amarth for example). That being said I’ve listened to this album several times and I still find this a good experience each freaking time. Before you even listen to this album you should grab yourself both some meed and beer, maybe even some snacks for the sake of it and get ready for a great time of raiding.

For those of you who doesn’t know about King of Asgard they are a creation of one of the members from Mithotyn Karl Beckmann. Keeping the viking spirit alive they have since then been making albums of high quality and their fourth conquest :tuadr: is of course no different. The memory of Mithotyn lives on in many ways with their releases as the songwriting and folk inspired melodies hits me with the same force as they once did. Having listened to a few tracks on :taudr: I know already that this is another great album to add to their already top notch discography. As a viking lover and a metal lover you just can’t get enough of King of Asgard that’s one thing that’s certain. Out of the five tracks on :taudr: there isn’t a single one I doesn’t like, however there are two tracks I find taking my breath away. Those two are Taudr and Upon Raging Waves, whereas the last one is a homage to everything Mithotyn has ever done. Basically if you want a viking experience this is the album, and the band to go for. Are you a fan of Mithotyn? This is the closest you can get! Love King of Asgard’s old albums? This is just as good if not better (have to say that …to North is hard to beat). Either way every fan of viking music will love this album! The atmosphere and music screams viking music!

King of Asgard’s fourth full-length album :taudr: is out now through Trollmusic.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kingofasgard
Label: Trollmusic
For fans of: Mithotyn and Thyrfing
Favorite song: Upon Raging Waves

Mordbrand – Wilt (Death Metal)

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Mordbrand means arson and is not only a horrible act but also one of Swedens best death metal acts that’s spawned this last decade. Having listened to their compilation album Hymns of the Rotten several times this past year I knew Wilt was something to look forward to. Why you ask? Because in this trio you got Per Boder, the vocalist who has been on the frontline to create the Swedish death metal sound with God Macabre. Joining him we got Björn Larsson (who plays for God Macabre since the resurrection in 2013) and Johan Rudberg. This trio has made some of the best death metal music these past years (their debut Imago came out in 2014) and it’s a band that I personally feel will should be up there among the greats soon if they keep this up. My only question to this release is if they can? Is Wilt as good as Imago or Hymns of the Rotten?

Short answer is yes, yes it is. I am not sure how Mordbrand does it, have they made an pact with Satan? Have they found the pick of destiny? Becuase wow I keep getting stunned by this band. Every single song is a hit to me. Every single song. It’s pure death metal which is perfectly produced and every single riff is a headbanger. The songwriting is great and heck even the album cover is freaking art. This year has been too kind to me. As a lover of death metal I’ve not only got to listen to releases from the more known acts such as Immolation, Firespawn, Evocation and Entrails but also found new bands like HerezA and now got something confirmed. Confirming that Mordbrand are here to stay, they are one of Swedens best death metal bands full stop. If you think otherwise listen to Wilt, or any other album in their already great discography.

I am basically too much in awe of this band right now that I shouldn’t even write in all honesty. I usually take an album for a few spins, cool down and then try to make a fair judgement (read my Svart Crown review for example) but this is so good I starting writing this review before I’d even give Wilt it’s first run. I mean fuck, already three tracks in I was asking myself if Bleed Into Nought, Delivering the Gods or Worship Predation was going to be choosen as my favorite track. Fact is they are all good in their own right and I could pick a song at random and still be happy with my choice.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Mordbrand is one of Swedens best death metal bands. It’s a beast that’s been unleashed and ready to ravage the world with death. I suggest you get Wilt now through Carnal Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/officialmordbrand
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MordbrandBand
Label: Carnal Records
For fans of: Evocation and Grave
Favorite song: At the Larvae Column

Loathfinder – The Great Tired Ones (Blackened Doom Metal)

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Ah it’s a good thing I got those promos from Godz ov War as not only did I get to review one of this years best releases (HerezA’s I Become Death), but I’ve also got to listen to some of last years releases I missed out and get more into the ever evolving Polish scene. Whereas Misanthropic Rage album was released last year Loathfinder’s debut EP The Great Tired One is only two months old, fresh meat so to say. Not finding much information about the band I got intrigued to see what this mystic band is all about. What I found out was rather evil.

Loathfinder plays a very chilling to the bone type of blackened doom metal that resembles the kind of profound evil that bands such as Forgotten Tomb, Lifelover, Bethlehem or even early Katatonia plays. As you probably can guess this isn’t for the weak of heart. It’s heavy down-tempo with vocals that will torment your very soul, lyrics that will leave you in horror and an atmosphere that’s so dark and vile you’re unsure how to even take this in. With four tracks and clocking on 27 minutes you’re in for a ride of twisting doom. As I said this isn’t for the weak hearted and it took me a few listens to get into (much like Misanthropic Rage did) but once I did the disorted sound, the gnarling vocals and feeling of despair got the best of me and now I can say this is a great debut.

Loathfinder is one of those albums that challenges the listener but if you dare to take up that challenge then I am sure you will come to like it. Loathfinder’s debut EP The Great Tired Ones is out now through Godz ov War Productions.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Loathfinder
Label: Godz ov War Productions
For fans of: Forgotten Tomb and Bethlehem
Favorite song: The Great Tired Ones

Sarcasm – Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds (Death Metal)

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For those unfamiliar (I have to confess I was) with Sarcasm their career goes all the way back to 1990 but after six demos the band disbanded in 1994. A few years ago, 2015 to be precise, the band re-merged from the shadows though with most of the members all having a past in Sarcasm from the 90’s. Sadly the sudden death of Oscar Karlsson (Defleshed, Gates of Ishtar) struck the band but they never wanted to give up, they wanted to keep on going and honour his memory. Matte Modin (Firespawn, Usurpress, ex-Dark Funeral, ex-Defleashed) took over the drums as Sarcasm were getting ready to work on Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds. However both Fredrik Wallenberg and Henrik Forslund left the band and Sarcasm had to assemble a new line-up once again. Eventually they did and Sarcasm now consist of Anders Eriksson, Jonas Söder, Matte Modin, Peter Laitinen and Heval Bozarslan.

This stormy past has probably influenced the band a lot in creating music. Raging speed and hard as a rock death metal, that’s the first thing that comes to my mind when listening to Sarcasm’s opener Bloodsoaked Sunrise from their latest album Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds. Sarcasm delivers a great mix of melodic death, your classic Swedish old school death and even some black metal elements in there. It’s like At the Gates, Dissection and Necrophobic joined forces. Some of the best from the Swedish metal scene that is. There is a track here for fans of any these bands as the songs do differ a bit in sound and that’s also what makes this a great album. There is variety and a sweet old school feeling to Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds that a metalhead who loves this sound will find right at home with.

If you haven’t heard Sarcasm before now is the time! Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds is an ode to the Swedish metal scene of old and even with all the hardship Sarcasm has suffered they’re back in form. If you only want a sample then I suggest listening to Scars of a Land Forgotten or the epic A Black Veil for Earth. Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds is out now through Dark Descent Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sarcasmsweden
Label: Dark Descent Records
For fans of: Necrophobic and At the Gates
Favorite song: A Black Veil for Earth

Misanthropic Rage – Gates No Longer Shut (Progressive Black Metal)

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My first listen to Gates No Longer Shut was an interesting one. I didn’t quite get it at first and thought it wasn’t my kind of music but it grew on me. So much that I had to listen to it again, and again, until eventually I was there. I’d joined that realm I recently saw in a horror movie called Satanic (cool idea but movie was only decent) and Misanthropic Rage had taken me there. Much like the experience I got from experimental and atmospheric black metal acts Eldjudnir and Veilburner gave me last year I find this disturbing and horrifying but yet it draws me in, one playthrough at the time.

It’s not too common I give albums a review from 2016 but this was such an interesting release I just had to share it with you. Every song feels a bit different. Be it the sense of horror, psychedelic or intense evil Misanthropic Rage gives it to you. I don’t think this is an album for everyone but if you did enjoy my reviews of Eldjudnir, Miserist and Veilburner or the more known acts that play something similar like Deathspell Omega and Dodheimsgard then this is right up your alley. Also how many times do you listen to a progressive black metal album right?

Misanthropic Rage’s full-length debut album Gates No Longer Shut is out now through Godz ov War Productions.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/misanthropicrage
Label: Godz ov War Productions
For fans of: Eldjudnir and Veilburner
Favorite song: Into the Crypt

Bloodgod – Catharsis (Death Metal)

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Lets start with saying I am very glad Bloodgod themselves contacted me as otherwise I would probably have missed this independent release. Bloodgod is a Dutch three-man outfit that features members from Disquiet, Hymir and Neustros Derechos. Being from these bands you get members who have backgrounds in different genres. Namely black, death and trash metal. This is also where the bands strength lays, they fuse together different genres to give their own take on death metal (similar to what Post Pulse have done). Main influences I would say are death and trash metal, sometimes I think their songs sound like old Trivium albums (which is a really good thing mind you).

The flow of the songs, change of tempo and vocals (minus the clean singing) is what takes me back to, as an example, Trivium’s Ascendancy album. It just seems to have the same kind of attitude as they did back then. That said they aren’t a Trivium rip off or anything like that, I just find bits and pieces that reminds me of them from their early stages. That together with some Machine Head, DevilDriver and Lamb of God then you get a rough idea on Bloodgod’s sound. Definitely music a lot of metalheads will enjoy and that Bloodgod can continue building on. Only thing I really got to comment on in a negative sense is that the two songs Valar Morghulis and Satan’s Smile sound too similar for my taste (especially the intro).

All in all this is a sweet EP, 18 minutes of enjoyable metal that can act as a teaser of what Bloodgod are capable of when it’s time to work on their full-length debut. The foundation is there and it will be interesting to hear what they come up with next. Catharsis is out now as an independent release.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bloodgod.metal
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bloodgod_metal
Label: Independent
For fans of: Trivium and DevilDriver
Favorite song: ‘t Schrickelik Tempeest